Sound SNP budget management releases £100 million

The SNP’s sound management of the Scottish budget has released an additional £100 million to boost the economy.

Funding will be provided to build an additional 650 homes across Scotland, while the A75 between Hardgrove and Kinmount will be upgraded this year. The upgrade of this road will provide a huge economic boost to Dumfries and Galloway, as well as creating jobs and apprenticeships during its construction.

The economic impact of the closure of RAF Kinloss will be addressed with a £10 million investment in enterprise and infrastructure in Forres. Additional money will also be allocated to support the renewables industry, to invest in Inverness Campus and regenerate Inverclyde.

The SNP has consistently called upon the UK Government for capital investment to be increased to stimulate growth and has provided a list of 30 shovel-ready projects. Those projects would support 1,400 jobs across the country, providing a much needed boost at a critical time for the Scottish economy.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Economic Growth John Swinney said:

"The Scottish Government is maximising the value of every public pound available as we take forward our programmes to support economic recovery and deliver high-quality, efficient public services.

"Our careful management of Scotland's finances means that we are able to increase levels of capital investment now to boost our future prosperity.

"While these projects will support and stimulate economic growth, they will also deliver on a range of wider objectives such as environmental and health improvement, housing, greener transport, maintenance of our health estate, and culture and tourism. We are also focusing our support on local economies and investment in key geographical areas.

"By accelerating this programme of capital investment we are taking action where the Westminster Government has failed to do so. As I have said repeatedly, the UK's austerity approach is failing to produce growth in the UK economy and we are doing everything possible, within our current powers, to make sure that that this doesn't damage our efforts to build sustainable economic growth for Scotland."

Commenting, SNP MSP Maureen Watt who convenes the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee said:

“The importance of stimulating our economy through capital investment has never been greater.

“As such I welcome the fact that – despite continued Westminster cuts - the Scottish Government has been able to put more resources into such a variety of important projects.

“The new homes that have been announced will build upon the Scottish Government’s fantastic record of home construction.

“The Finance Secretary should be congratulated for the efficient management of the Scottish Government’s budget which has made this possible.

“These timely economic boosts will be good news for communities across the country.

“The Scottish Government’s determination to boost our economy through capital investment stands in stark contrast to the UK’s increasingly isolated refusal to follow suit. The Chancellor is performing one u-turn after another, and this one would give a huge boost to Scotland’s economy.

“But the Tories’ actions are holding Scotland’s economy back, and show why it is so important for Scotland to gain control of the economic levers we need to grow our economy.”

Commenting on the £20m that is to be invested in upgrading the A75 between Hardgrove and Kinmount, South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine said:

“I am absolutely delighted that the A75 is set to be upgraded. It will bring much needed jobs to the region and help the many businesses that make use of the route.

"In spite of the massive cuts to Scotland’s capital budget, the SNP Scottish Government has listened to the concerns of local people and campaigners, and found the money to deliver this vital upgrade.

"I know this announcement will be widely welcomed by anyone who uses the A75. It is another clear example of the Scottish Government listening to people in Dumfries & Galloway and acting on their concerns."